UF Softball Punches Ticket To Oklahoma City For College World Series

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 4.17.22 PM The Gators celebrate as they are heading to Oklahoma City With a 1-0 win against the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday, the Florida Gator softball team clinched a spot in the 2015 Women’s College World Series. This marks the third consecutive year the Gators have reached the World Series and the seventh time in last eight seasons. Florida will be looking to win its second consecutive national championship. Head coach Tim Walton is pleased with his team never getting comfortable. “This is a tough deal. I think, emotionally, after you win a national championship it’s easy to let your guard down, it’s easy to become complacent. And I felt like we did a good job of coaching this team as we did that team.” The game on Sunday was much closer than the game on Saturday. Kentucky pitcher Kelsey Nunley did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, but she conceded base runners in each of the first three innings yet the Gators couldn’t capitalize. Sophomore Justine McLean was the offensive hero for Florida as she drove in Taylore Fuller with a RBI infield single. McLean talked about the at-bat where she drove in the

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run. “Kelsey Nunley was really owning me and I just kept grounding out to the second baseman. I decided to slow my feet down and keep things simple and just put the ball in play.” Pitcher Lauren Haeger was once again dominant. She did get help from several players with impressive defensive plays. Right fielder Justine McLean grabbed a liner to right field and then doubled up the runner at first for a 9-3 double play. Catcher Aubree Munro dove for a catch in the shallow infield and threw it to first for a 2-3 double play. Shortstop Kathlyn Medina had several catches down the left field line in foul territory. Haeger was very appreciative that her teammates made some great plays. “They make these plays all the time and a lot of people just like, I don’t think they get enough credit, those are top ten plays right there. That’s big time…I just love my defense behind me.” Florida heads to Oklahoma City without allowing a single run in 36 innings over five postseason games. Haeger is responsible for 29 of those innings, only allowing 10 hits in four games with 24 strikeouts. The Gators will face the Tennessee Volunteers on Thursday. The Vols defeated Florida in the SEC Tournament semifinal 2-1, Haeger’s only loss of the year. For full audio clips of quotes above and more, click below: Walton glad his team never became complacent McLean talks about her defensive play and RBI single Haeger appreciative of the great defensive plays Munro talks about her diving catch Walton on what he has learned from his team from the start of the year

About Fernando Juncadella

Senior at the University of Florida. Working at ESPN Gainesville for four years, covering Florida football, softball, and baseball.

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